Clark County, sparked by fullback Mason Jones' career performance and a solid defense, put the brakes on a month-long skid by beating district rival Tates Creek 27-12 Friday night.
Jones, 6-foot, 210-pound senior, rushed only 28 times for 156 yards in the Cardinals' first seven games this season.
Jones was the hammer against Tates Creek, though, carrying 12 times for 138 yards and two touchdowns.
There was nothing fancy about it. Jones sprung free on trap blocks and bulled his way through the middle of the Commodores' defense.
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"I owe it all to my linemen," Jones said. "That was the first time I've ever seen holes that big."
Coach Paul Columbia was impressed by Jones.
"He's a big ol' boy. He runs hard, gets behind his shoulder pads and runs hard."
Clark County's offense had other weapons.
Quarterback Andrew Dini threw for 123 yards and a TD and also ran for a score. Darius Skinner and Corey Rogers each had three catches for a total of 98 yards and a TD.
Pokey Harris' speed complemented Jones' power as he rushed for 55 yards.
Clark County's defense, led by Jones and Reid Campbell, forced four Tates Creek turnovers and kept the Commodores' running game in check.
The Cards were happy to end a four-game skid that began on this same Tates Creek field when it fell to Lafayette last month.
"It feels great to get rid of that streak," Jones said. "We came out and played as a team and kept our heads in the game. Even when we were up we kept pounding them."
Tates Creek's bugaboo all year has been injuries and turnovers, and that was the case again Friday night.
After losing standout defensive lineman Aaron Mullins to a season-ending knee injury last week, the Commodores lost linebacker Jonathon Meadors, their leading tackler, when he hurt his ankle three minutes into the game against Clark County.
But Coach Mike Harmon made no excuses, especially not for his team's turnovers.
Tates Creek coughed up two fumbles in a span of two minutes midway through the first half, and Clark County cashed in both for TDs.
The first turnover came at the Commodores' 13. Three plays later, Dini tossed an 8-yard TD pass to Rogers.
Tates Creek fumbled away the ensuing kickoff at its own 30. Clark County again needed only three snaps to score, with Jones getting the TD.
Tates Creek got on the board with a 12-play march capped by Jontez Jones' 3-yard TD run.
But Clark County answered with a clutch 73-yard drive in which it converted a third-and-26, and a fourth-and-5. Dini's 16-yard pass to Rogers set up his quarterback sneak that made it 21-6 at halftime.
The Commdores tried to get back in it. They pulled to within 21-12 on Brandon Shrout's 21-yard run early in the third quarter. And they were in the red zone again a few minutes later, but a half-back option pass by Jontez Jones was intercepted.
"I thought we did some good things, and showed some character trying to come back," Harmon said.
"But Clark County made some plays, and the rest is history."
Jontez Jones had a good night for the Commodores, rushing 19 times for 132 yards and a TD.
Clark County 0 21 0 6—27
Tates Creek 0 6 6 0 —12
CC—Corey Rogers 8 pass from Andrew Dini (Tyler Creteau kick). CC—Mason Jones 5 run (Creteau kick). TC—Jontez Jones 3 run (pass failed). CC—Dini 1 run (Creteau kick). TC—Brandon Shrout 21 run (pass failed). CC—Mason Jones 14 run (Creteau kick).
Records—Clark County 4-4, Tates Creek 5-3